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S3 Sleep in Windows XP.

S3 Sleep in Windows XP.

S3 Sleep in Windows XP.

I found out recently that S3 sleep can be done in Windows XP - something I didn't know about anyhow.  Here's some information, and how to set it up.  YMMV of course, because the hardware you have might not be able to do this.  Disclaimer, no guarantees if you try any of this, etc, any changes you make are your responsibility.  In fact, I recommend that you be very comfortable with the idea of working on the OS/computer to diagnose something that may go wrong.

Background: If you notice in most cases, computers running XP will go to standby and leave all the fans and drives running.  Forbes (1) observed that there was only a 17 Watt advantage by doing this.  This turned out to be S1 Standby, which only seemed to turn off the monitor in my observation (yes I know there are more technical explanations).  Not much of a saving.

Anyway, I got to reading about S3 sleep in Vista from a help post in another forum, and got to wondering about it and researched it.  As it turns out, S3 sleep will actually turn off the fans and everything, except the keyboard light, expansion cards (like network) and will refresh the RAM occasionally to save the contents of it.  Forbes observed 5W of usage.  And in my own observation, the system will come back up in about 2 or 3 seconds once I push my power button.

Hardware Requirements: No doubt this was not too incredibly present in most systems when Windows XP came out, so the default was set to S1 in standby.  Evidently, they didn't figure on too many systems supporting it so the option to do it wasn't even presented (like Hibernate).  I could be wrong here, of course, and most could be running on S3 Standby happily.

Anyhow to do an S3 standby, your system must support "Suspend to RAM".  There should be a BIOS option for this in your computer, if not it might take some jumper settings (I had to move 3 jumpers and set some DIP switches for my CPU to make the BIOS option available on my computer).  But that's beyond the scope of what is being talked of here.

How to do it: Once the computer has been established to support S3 standby in hardware, we can set Windows XP to use S3 standby.  To do that, download dumppo.exe from Microsoft.  Get to a command prompt where you can run it and then we can begin:

First, we can double-check the capabilities of the system as XP recognizes it:


D:\>dumppo cap

power capabilties
System power capabilties
Power Button Present....: TRUE
Sleep Button Present....: FALSE
Lid Present.............: FALSE
System states supported.: S1 S3 S4 S5
Hiber file reserved.....: TRUE
Thermal control.........: FALSE
CPU Throttle control....: FALSE
Processor min throttle..: 100
Processor trottle scale.: 100 (1%)
Some disk will spindown.: TRUE
System batteries present: FALSE
System batteries scale..: (G:0 C:0) (G:0 C:0) (G:0 C:0)
Ac on line wake ability.: Unspecified
Lid wake ability........: Unspecified
RTC wake ability........: S4 - hibernate
Min device wake.........: Unspecified
Default low latency wake: Unspecified

The line we are interested in is "System states supported".  As we can see, my computer supports S1 (low-standby), S3 (high-standby), S4 (hibernate), and S5 (power-off) power states.  So we're okay there.  If you don't see S3 there, then you have hardware issues and this is not for you.

Now to move towards setting it.  Type the following:


D:\>dumppo admin

Admin policy overrides
Min sleep state......: S1
Max sleep state......: S4 - hibernate
Min video timeout....: 01
Max video timeout....: -1
Min spindown timeout.: 0
Max spindown timeout.: -1

This is what my computer looked like before I made this change.  When Standby is performed, it will be done using the "Min Sleep State", which means my computer performed S1 sleep when it did the standby function.  If your computer already reads S3 there, then it means you are already getting S3 Sleep in Standby.

Now we want to change it.  We do that by typing:


dumppo admin /ac minsleep=s3

Now reboot.  To check once you are back online, do this:


D:\>dumppo admin
Admin policy overrides
Min sleep state......: S3
Max sleep state......: S4 - hibernate
Min video timeout....: 0
Max video timeout....: -1
Min spindown timeout.: 0
Max spindown timeout.: -1

Minsleep should now read S3, which means your computer will now "almost" shut down when you hit standby.  The change should be persistent across multiple reboots.

Again YMMV, and if your computer has an issue coming back (mine takes the power button), then it's more likely a hardware problem with something that doesn't play well with S3 sleep.

BTW, many things I've read mention the possibility of setting "Wake-On-LAN", and a standby timeout and doing this with a server to be able to have it running on an "idle until needed" basis - which seems intriguing to try.

Sources:(1) - someone who did some tests on computer power usage at various standby modes

Dilbert is not a fictional cartoon.  It is a documentary.

RE: S3 Sleep in Windows XP.

Excellent post Glen9999, have a star!

RE: S3 Sleep in Windows XP.

Outstanding post!
when i select Standby from the Turn off Computer menu i cannot detect any drives or fans running and the monitor acts as if it has been turned off
to bring it out of Standby all i have to do is move my mouse!

You have just earned the EyeC Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Award, not really but you do deserve another star

RE: S3 Sleep in Windows XP.

One from me as well!

Only the truly stupid believe they know everything.
Stu.. 2004

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